Gatineau Park winter tourism figures up slightly as ice storm shutdown ends

Gatineau Park
Photo by Fil.Al / Flickr

As Gatineau Park reopens to visitors following an icy shutdown, the latest tourism figures show the National Capital Region’s natural font continues to draw outdoor enthusiasts – even in the harsh winter months.

The park proved popular for avid snowshoers and skiers, as winter season’s pass figures were up two per cent over last year with a total of 8,552 passes sold. More than 1,200 guests booked overnight accommodations, roughly the same as last year.

The length of the park’s winter season was just below average at 113 skiing days, stretching from Dec. 16 to Apr. 13.

Even for the most heartened of winter adventurers, unseasonably frigid weather can prove too much of a good thing. The park was shut down on Apr. 16 after freezing rain damaged trees and left trails covered in debris.

Gatineau Park reopened partially on Saturday, though backwood trails, rock climbing and a few parking lots remain closed. While most main trails are open and visitors are permitted to ski, patrollers are no longer in place. The park’s roads remain closed to motorists, with the anticipated reopening date of May 4 postponed.